Sheriff Shawn Larsen reports that on 12-9-2018 at approximately 6:32 pm, his office received a report of two overdue fishermen on Fish Trap Lake, approximately five miles north of Cushing, MN in Scandia Valley Township.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, two neighbors who live on Fish Trap Lake were together fishing on the evening of 12-9-2018. Family members notified the Sheriff’s Office that the fishermen were late returning home and they were unable to contact them. The Sheriff’s Office coordinated search and rescue efforts with responding units and learned that a Polaris side-by-side ATV was missing. Responders searched the lake and located open water west of the Big Island which is near the middle of the lake. At this location, the body of 68-year-old Wayne Vaverek from Cushing, MN was located on the surface near the edge of water. Lifesaving efforts were attempted, but were unsuccessful and Vaverek was pronounced dead at the scene. After a thorough search, responding units were unable to locate the other fisherman.
Search efforts were called off and resumed on the morning of 12-10-2018. Members of the Morrison County and Stearns County Dive Teams located the body of 71-year-old Leonard Sanoski from Cushing, MN inside the enclosed cab of the Polaris side-by-side ATV. The side-by-side ATV was in approximately 40 feet of water.
This incident took place on a pressure ridge. The pressure ridge is approximately 200 yards long, running north to south and approximately 75 yards wide running east to west. The pressure ridge is marked with cones and we are reminding residents to stay away from this area.
The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone that the ice conditions vary throughout the lake and should not be considered 100 percent safe.
The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Scandia Valley Fire Department, Scandia Valley First Response Team, MN State Patrol, MN DNR, Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Sauk Rapids Fire Department, Little Falls Police Department, Life Link III and Gold Cross Ambulance.